Eighth-Ranked Thunder Too Much for Belles

Box Score

  • Gabby Diamond led the Belles with 12 points.
  • Eleni Shea added nine points with a team-high eight rebounds.
  • Erin Maloney and Kelsey Ronan each had six points.

WHEATON, Ill. - The Saint Mary's basketball team faced a tall task in No. 8 ranked Wheaton on Friday night as the host Thunder claimed a 91-42 decision on day one of the Beth Baker Classic.

Wheaton opened the game with the first six points of the contest, but the Belles came right back with consecutive buckets on their next two possessions as Maddie Kohler hit Kelsey Ronan for the jumper before Eleni Shea drained a shot in the paint to make it 6-4.

The Thunder responded with the next eight points in a row for a 14-4 lead as the Belles called a timeout to try to slow the momentum with 4:31 left in the first quarter. Wheaton extended their lead to 20-7 and led by a matching 13-point margin at the end of the first at 22-9.

The teams played evenly with one another through the first four minutes of the second half as the Belles came up with answers on both ends of the court to the Thunder early in the period. Wheaton, however, used a 12-2 run to make it a 39-15 contest with under three minutes remaining before halftime.

Wheaton's offense continued to be effective as the Thunder hit 44.4 percent of their shots from the floor and 46.7 percent of their three-point attempts in the third and fourth quarters. The Belles connected on 23.3 percent of their shots from the floor and two of four three-pointers over that same span of time as the Thunder outscored Saint Mary's by a 43-23 margin over the final 20 minutes of play.

Gabby Diamond led the Belles with 12 points while pulling down six rebounds. Eleni Shea added nine points and a team-high eight rebounds with three assists. Kelsey Ronan and Erin Maloney each chipped in six points for the Belles. Gabby Crown also scored the first points of her career on a three-pointer.

The Belles (0-2) square off against No. 11 UW-Oshkosh at 1:00 p.m. CST on day two of the Beth Baker Classic tomorrow.